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Portrayals of Frank Harris

Frank Harris has appeared in a number of guises in literature and drama, some of which you will find listed on this page. (See also: adaptations of Harris' works).

Portrayals in fiction

  • Hardfur Huttle in The Diary of a Nobody, by George and Weedon Grossmith. The chapter of this classic comic novel in which Huttle appears describes a dinner party where Huttle, an American, monopolises the conversation and unwittingly insults his fellow guests. Huttle's enthusiasms and manner are very Harrisian in style.
  • John Johns in The Adventures of John Johns, by Frederic Carrel, 1897. This roman à clef was very popular at the time. A lightly-disguised portrait of Harris which shows him as a scheming social climber. Read a longer review. Read an extract from this book.
  • George Everard in The Simple Life Limited, by Daniel Chaucer (Ford Madox Ford), 1911 - Thomas C. Moser suggests that Everard owes his physical character to Harris.
  • Ralph Parker in The Will To Love, by Hugh (Kingsmill) Lunn, 1913
  • Jack Fordham in The Diary of a Drug Fiend, by Aleister Crowley, 1923.
  • An unconvincing Frank Harris appears in The West End Horror by Nicholas Meyer, 1976.
  • Frank Harris appears in The God of Mirrors by Robert Reilly, 1986.
  • Frank Harris appears in Manly Pursuits by Ann Harries, 1999.

Dramatic portrayals

  • Flesh, Flash and Frank Harris by Paul Stephen Lim.
  • Fearless Frank by Andrew Davies and Dave Brown. Produced in 1979 at the King's Head Theatre, London, and on Broadway at the Princess Theatre for just a week in June 1980. Also a BBC television production starring Leonard Rossiter.
  • Frank appears as a character in Gross Indecency, a play by Moises Kaufman about Oscar Wilde's trials
  • He also appears in Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love.
  • Frank appears in one scene in To Meet Oscar Wilde, by Norman Holland.
  • The play Oscar Wilde by Leslie and Sewell Stokes includes Frank Harris as a character.
  • The Bashful Genius, based on the early career of George Bernard Shaw, features Frank Harris as a character. When it was performed in 1964 at the Nottingham Playhouse, Bill Maynard played Harris and John Neville played Shaw.
  • A Wilde Evening by Wayne Turney depicts an improbable party thrown by Oscar Wilde. Amongst the guests are Frank and Nellie Harris.

Portrayals in Poetry

  • Eve by Ralph Hodgson was, according to Enid Bagnold's Autobiography (she calls the poem 'Deep in the bells and grass'), written about her affair with Frank Harris.
  • Harris is mentioned in Café Royale, Carole Ann Duffy's poem which refers to the famous meeting when Harris and Shaw warned Wilde not to sue Queensberry for libel.

Cinematic portrayals